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Personalised Video & TV Adverts: Latest Fad or Opportunity To Increase Engagement?

05 September 2016

Marketers have often been accused of jumping on the bandwagon of the latest marketing fad, especially when a bright new digital product appears (Pokemon Go anyone?)

A tremendous paradox exists right now: on the one hand advertisers have sufficient data and creativity to produce personalised digital and TV ads, making them relevant to the user and cutting out waste. However, if the ads appear to be too personal and appear at the wrong time or in the wrong context, users might well complain that they are too ‘creepy.’ There may also be serious data privacy concerns to overcome. Advertisers are in a dilemma over how far to go.

Engaging, personalised digital ads can replace the torrent of cheap, irrelevant, obtrusive, badly targeted ads, which have driven 22% of adults online (IAB) to ad block.

We’ve had personalised static display ads for a while now, with users being targeted with generic video ads served on Facebook and YouTube. But now we are moving to a higher level, with video ads created in real time, tailored to users’ likes and behaviours, using ‘motion graphics templates.’

Motion graphics are pieces of digital footage or animation that create the illusion of motion and are normally combined with audio for use in multimedia projects.

Originally dynamic video ads were put together manually, but improved technology is tech is making the process quicker, easier and cheaper, with motion graphics now being displayed via electronic media technology, through the use of algorithms.

Brands such as Cadbury’s and Coca Cola have already used their customer data to run targeted video ads on the fly.

Amazon is currently using its extensive personal data to test the process, possibly on its own site, or on third party sites such as Google and / or Facebook.

So that’s digital, how about TV? According to research from Yospace and Censuswide TV ads need to be more effective, an issue currently being debated by members of ISBA’s Audio Visual Action Group.

The research revealed that 73% of 16 – 24 year olds would follow up on TV ads by looking for the product online.

Apparently viewers are more likely to take notice of ads if they are personally targeted. This is extremely good news for Sky AdSmart, which can geo-target, (serving different ads to different Sky households watching the same TV programme) via a subscriber’s postcode.

Last year Sky Media used data from its Viewing Panel to analyse the effect of its AdSmart ads on the viewing behaviour in commercial breaks, concluding that Sky AdSmart commercials entice viewers to watch more of Sky’s ad breaks.

Jamie West, Sky Media’s Deputy Managing Director, claims that “As viewers cannot distinguish AdSmart commercials from any others, higher viewing levels can only be attributed to customers finding them more interesting or engaging”.

ISBA’s Audio Visual Action Group has been discussing the deterioration of TV ad effectiveness. Do personalised ads offer a solution? Members have recently heard the views of Thinkbox and Hall & Partners.

And let’s not forget Virtual Reality in the mix. Last week the New York Times announced that it had placed a 360 degree interactive video on its mobile website for the very first time. Although it’s far too early to gauge whether 360 degree ads will increase engagement with viewers, this at least provides proof that technology is providing yet more options for advertisers. Apparently 360 degree ads can already be seen on the publication’s app.

ISBA’s Digital Action Group will be able to ask Amazon’s Alex Hole, their Media Group Director, about their personalised video experiment, at our next meeting on 14 September. Please contact me if you would like to join the group.

by David Ellison

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